The first major step toward the annihilation of a free and open internet takes place this morning, and you can witness it live. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is expected to vote to repeal the Obama-era regulations protecting net neutrality during its annual meeting today. It starts at 10:30am EST and a livestream is available on the FCC website.
Among today’s agenda items is a vote on the Restoring Internet Freedom Order, which would repeal and reverse the 2015 Open Internet Order. If passed, internet service providers (ISPs) will be able to give preferential treatment to services, blocking or throttling traffic to websites at their whim. They could also charge consumers more for speedier services.
FCC chairman Ajit Pai has argued that he’s dismantling “burdensome and unnecessary regulations,” which will will stimulate innovation. The regulations, he says, are stifling broadband investment. That is simply not true.
Of course, once the new order passes, it’s likely to be challenged at length in court, a process that we have covered at length elsewhere.